De-duplicate Records | Online Help - Zoho CRM

De-duplicate records (Auto-merge duplicates)

In case you are not sure which records have been duplicated, you can let CRM run a check on modules using the De-duplicate tool. CRM will automatically find and merge exact matches. In case of conflicts in field values, you must manually resolve the conflicts and merge records.

Consider the image below. There are three exact matches and there are two records in which the just phone number field differs. In this case, CRM will auto-merge the first three records and prompt the user to resolve the conflict in the last two records. Once the conflict has been resolved, the records will be merged.

You may think that, the Lead's names in the last two records are same so the system should merge them into one record, and you will be resolving conflict on a single record. However, the de-duplication process doesn't work that way. It will run the match only on the unique field that you choose/mention to check for, so even if the other fields have same value the de-duplication method will not merge them and show as conflict.

Permission Required
Users at the highest hierarchy in the organization or with administrative profile can access this feature.

What is a Master record?

CRM will consider one record as a master record to run the duplicate check. This record is chosen based on the most recent activity. This occurs automatically and cannot be changed manually. For example, among five records the record that had recent activity will be automatically treated as a master record to run the duplication check.  

To merge duplicate records using the De-duplicate tool
  1. Click the [Module] tab (e.g., Leads, Accounts, Contacts or Vendors).
  2. In the [Module] Home page, under [Module] Tools, click Deduplicate [Module].
  3. In the Deduplicate [Records] page, click the fields by which you would like to search the duplicate records.

    You can select up to three fields. CRM will search for duplicates based on these fields.
    For example, if you select Email and Company, CRM will look for records in which the Email ID and Phone fields are the same.
    Note that fields that you have marked as unique appear here. If you have not marked unique fields, CRM will display a standard set of unique fields for the module.
  4. Click Find and Merge Duplicates.
    A popup window informing you of the de-duplicate function appears. Click OK.

    If the duplicates found by CRM are exact copies of each other, CRM will automatically merge them. In that case, no further action is required from the user.
    Note that in the case of auto-merge, the record with the latest Last Activity Time will be considered the master record.
    If there is a conflict between the duplicates in any of the field values, you must resolve the conflict and then manually merge the records.
Resolve conflicts in de-duplication

A conflict in de-duplication refers to a case where the field values within duplicates are different. For example, there are two records called David Smith, where all field values except the phone number are the same. In this case, CRM would not know which record to consider as the final and merge. Therefore, you need to manually resolve those issues. There are two ways to resolve conflict in de-duplication.

  • Resolve immediately - When CRM throws a popup on the conflict, you can immediately resolve it by click Resolve Now.
  • Resolve later - If you are busy with other activities, click Resolve Later. You will be sent an email notification on the de-duplication details. Access the link to resolve conflict from this email. Note that this link will be valid only for three days.

Once you click to resolve conflict, you will be taken to the Deduplicate [Records] page, where the particular record and the number of duplicate entries found are displayed. Click View.
(You can switch between the tabs to view the duplicates under each selected field.) 

  1. As per the example above, there are two leads with the same field values except for the phone number. So in the Deduplicate Leads page, you can see that the records are listed as columns.
  2. Select a Master Record. You can click SELECT ALL, if you wish to take all the master record values as final and merge the duplicates.

    If not, click the radio buttons near the corresponding fields of other records to instruct CRM on which field values should be considered "final" in order to merge duplicates.
    The values thus selected appear under the MASTER RECORD column.
  3. Once you have resolved the conflicting values, click Merge.
    A warning message is displayed, informing you of the consequences of the merging of records. Once you are sure, confirm the action.
    The duplicates will successfully be merged as seen below.

  • The De-duplication process can be initiated only by one user per module at a time.
  • You can merge a maximum of three records at a time.
  • If there are more than three duplicates, you will be prompted to choose any three to merge from the list of all duplicates.
  • Once you have specified the master record, all the related lists of child records are moved to the master record.
  • The record(s) merged to the master record will be deleted permanently and the action cannot be reverted.
  • Read-Only fields will not have radio buttons.

    Zoho CRM Training Programs

    Learn how to use the best tools for sales force automation and better customer engagement from Zoho's implementation specialists.

    Zoho CRM Training
      Redefine the way you work
      with Zoho Workplace

        Zoho DataPrep Personalized Demo

        If you'd like a personalized walk-through of our data preparation tool, please request a demo and we'll be happy to show you how to get the best out of Zoho DataPrep.

        Zoho CRM Training

          Create, share, and deliver

          beautiful slides from anywhere.

          Get Started Now

            Zoho Sign now offers specialized one-on-one training for both administrators and developers.

            BOOK A SESSION

                        Still can't find what you're looking for?

                        Write to us:



                          Manage your brands on social media

                              Zoho Marketing Automation

                                Zoho Sheet Resources


                                    Zoho Forms Resources

                                      Secure your business
                                      communication with Zoho Mail

                                      Mail on the move with
                                      Zoho Mail mobile application

                                        Stay on top of your schedule
                                        at all times

                                        Carry your calendar with you
                                        Anytime, anywhere

                                              Zoho Sign Resources

                                                Sign, Paperless!

                                                Sign and send business documents on the go!

                                                Get Started Now

                                                        Zoho TeamInbox Resources

                                                                Zoho DataPrep Resources

                                                                  Zoho DataPrep Demo

                                                                  Get a personalized demo or POC

                                                                  REGISTER NOW

                                                                    Design. Discuss. Deliver.

                                                                    Create visually engaging stories with Zoho Show.

                                                                    Get Started Now

                                                                                          • Related Articles

                                                                                          • Merging Duplicate Records

                                                                                            When you work with a significant volume of data, it gets quite challenging to keep your database free from duplicates. As the avenues to create records in CRM increase, the chances of duplicate entries increase as well. For example, the same lead may ...
                                                                                          • Checking Duplicate Records in Zoho CRM

                                                                                            When you have hundreds and thousands of records in your CRM, as your business grows, it becomes a very difficult task to check for duplicates. Zoho CRM helps you arrest duplicates even before they can be created, with the help of what we call "unique ...
                                                                                          • Common Operations with records

                                                                                            Record Navigation Navigation primarily means the process of moving back and forth within the records. In Zoho CRM, navigation allows easy movement between the records; it provides options to choose the number of records to be displayed in one page ...
                                                                                          • Managing Mail Merge Templates

                                                                                            Mail merge is a function that helps you to simplify repetitive tasks to create personalized documents (forms, letters, address labels, envelopes, etc.). You can create a mail merge template which contains variables (merge fields), which will merge ...
                                                                                          • Identify duplicates between leads and contacts modules

                                                                                            Edition: Enterprise | Industry: Travel | Feature: Workflow rule and Functions Scenario Joshua Baker is a sales manager at an online travel agency that offers customized tour packages. The agency has a webform on its website through which interested ...
                                                                                          Wherever you are is as good as
                                                                                          your workplace



                                                                                            Watch comprehensive videos on features and other important topics that will help you master Zoho CRM.


                                                                                            Download free eBooks and access a range of topics to get deeper insight on successfully using Zoho CRM.


                                                                                            Sign up for our webinars and learn the Zoho CRM basics, from customization to sales force automation and more.

                                                                                            CRM Tips

                                                                                            Make the most of Zoho CRM with these useful tips.

                                                                                              Zoho Show Resources